Alexander Lukashenko secretly and unexpectedly organized the Presidential inauguration and recognized himself as the President of Belarus for the sixth time. The event wasn’t announced nor translated anywhere. The Czech Republic took a stand on the inauguration, refusing to recognize him as the president.
Several hundreds of important government officials participated in the event. Tut.by noticed that the security crews and soldiers were concentrated around the Palace of Independence. Lukashenko took the oath while he was given the certificate of the President of Belarus. Lukashenko’s inauguration speech was focused on his power over the opposition. As he mentioned: “This might be the only country where the “colorful revolution” didn’t take place.” Previously, he blamed Poland, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, and Ukraine for aiding the protests in Belarus.
The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Slovakia announced that they don’t recognize the results of this inauguration. The Czech Minister of Foreign Affairs Tomáš Petříček stated in his Twitter:
“The elections in Belarus were not free and fair. That is why the results are not legitimate, that is why today’s inauguration is not legitimate.”
Last month, Andrej Babiš, the Prime Minister, wrote on Twitter: “What must not happen in Belarus is what happened to us in 1968.” The European Union has already imposed sanctions against 31 Belarusian officials who participated in the suppression of protests and rigged elections.
A member of the Presidium of the Oppositional Coordination Council, Pavel Latushka, compared this event with the crowning of the thief. “Obviously, Lukashenko is exclusively the president of the OMON forces and a handful of lying officials.” Latushka also encouraged people to participate in civil demonstrations taking place this evening, where the security dispersed the protesters with water cannons.
More than a month ago, August 9, the elections took place in Belarus. According to the official data, Lukashenko won with 80 percent results. However, the data gathered by independent sociological apps and outlets stated that most of the citizens were on the Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya’s side. Afterward, Belarusians started to participate in daily demonstrations. The protests were met with aggression and police brutality.
In August, the Czech Republic already expressed solidarity with the Belarusian opposition during the civil demonstrations at Old Town Square and Charles Bridge. According to the Belarusian embassy in the Czech Republic, Lukashenko gained only five percent of the votes, while the majority (92 percent) voted for Tsikhanouskaya.